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Kishan Dholakia Wins 2018 SPIE Dennis Gabor Award

The head of the Optical Manipulation Group within the University of St. Andrews' School of Physics and Astronomy received the award during the Annual Awards Banquet at SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego

23 August 2018

Kishan Dholakia wins SPIE Dennis Gabor Award 2018

SPIE President Maryellen Giger with SPIE Dennis Gabor Award winner Kishan Dholakia

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and CARDIFF, UK - SPIE Fellow Kishan Dholakia of University of St. Andrews was honored with the 2018 SPIE Dennis Gabor Award for his work in optical-beam shaping using dynamic and static diffractive optics. His work has led to paradigm shifts in light manipulation, nano-surgery and imaging, as well as enabling new routes for the understanding of holographic light fields for a range of applications.

At St. Andrews, Dholakia established a biophotonics research program, one of the leading such programs in the world. The group's reach has expanded into new areas such as Raman microscopy, with new, high-sensitivity detection methods.

"Kishan Dholakia is widely recognized as a global leader in the field of biophotonics," said SPIE Fellow and board member David Sampson, vice provost of research and innovation at the University of Surrey. "His original contributions in optical tweezers, beam shaping in tweezers and microscopy, and wavefront correction to improve microscope resolution, to name only a few of his innovations, will have lasting impact on the field. His initiatives of today are the commercial developments of tomorrow."

Sampson added that Dholakia's research is foundational, creative, novel, and broad-based, with the common underpinning element of manipulation, management, and creative use of optical wavefronts.

In 2017, Dholakia received the Thomas Young Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics for his contributions to the field of optical micromanipulation using shaped light fields in liquid, air, and vacuum. Notably, Dholakia demonstrated the first-ever use of propagation-invariant light fields in optical trapping. His work in this area spawned major worldwide activity that involved the exploitation of propagation-invariant fields, and this topic continues to thrive and flourish.

An active member of SPIE, Dholakia has authored more than 150 papers with the society, been published in the Journal of Biomedical Optics and Journal of Nanophotonics several times, and has served as a course instructor. He is a frequent participant in SPIE events as a technical presenter, plenary speaker, and panel member, and has served on conference symposia and program committees for more than a decade. For his countless contributions to SPIE, he was elected a Fellow of the society in 2009.

SPIE presents the Dennis Gabor Award every year to recognize outstanding accomplishments in diffractive wavefront technologies, especially those that further the development of holography and metrology applications.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2017, SPIE provided more than $4 million in support of education and outreach programs. www.spie.org.

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